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Georgia GOP can't stop fighting among themselves after Trump lost the state

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is under fire from his own party, and he’s not having it.

By Donna Provencher - November 16, 2020
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Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Georgia’s top election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, is firing back after repeated attacks on his professionalism and character by members of his own party.

After an onslaught of criticism by fellow Republicans after Donald Trump lost the state to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election in a historic upset, Raffensperger seems to have had enough.

In a flurry of late-night Facebook posts Sunday night, Raffensperger systematically dismantled many of the lies Trump and others have spread in recent days about alleged mass voter fraud in Georgia.

He fact-checked Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that machines provided by the company Dominion Voting Systems deleted or switched hundreds of thousands of votes from Biden to Trump. He debunked the claim that the company is Venezuelan-owned (it’s American-owned) and linked to a BuzzFeed News article knocking down Trump’s assertions.

Raffensperger then refuted the widespread false claim by Republicans that “ballot harvesting,” or the collection of ballots by third parties, was responsible for the election outcome in Georgia.

“First thing I did as a Secretary of State?” he posted on Facebook, linking to a local news report on the subject. “Banned ballot harvesting. We passed it in 2019. Truth matters. Integrity matters.”

Raffensperger next posted a screenshot of one of Trump’s tweets criticizing mail-in voting as rife with fraud.

“My team secured and strengthened absentee ballots for the first time since 2005,” Raffensperger said. “For the first time in the history of Georgia, Absentee ballots submitted through our electronic portal required photo ID. My team — we made that happen.”

Last week, attorney Lin Wood filed a suit against Raffensperger alleging that he had unconstitutionally changed an election policy in March and made it easier to commit voter fraud.

The suit refers to a March settlement Raffensperger came to with the Democratic Party on the issue of signature matching.

According to a local media report, the settlement stipulated that if a voter’s signature on a mail-in or absentee ballot didn’t match the voter’s signatures on file, two other reviewers would have to be consulted. The ballot could only be thrown out if two of the three reviewers agreed that the signatures didn’t match.

The suit charges that this rule ought to have been approved by the state legislature and instead was unconstitutionally implemented by Raffensperger in a unilateral decision.

Wood asserts without evidence that by making the process so complicated, Raffensperger made it easier for election officials to overlook bad ballots, creating an atmosphere where voter fraud could thrive.

Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs, speaking on behalf of Raffensperger, called the claims “silly” and “baseless.”

“Signature match is intact and the General Assembly passed legislation to allow voters who failed to include a signature time to add one,” Fuchs said on behalf of the secretary of state’s office. “Fulton County only had one rejected ballot in 2018 and now they have thousands. We strengthened signature match, and will continue to do so, period.”

Raffensperger wrote on Facebook that he wanted to “address this disinformation about signature match.”

“We strengthened signature match,” he wrote. “We helped train election officials on GBI signature match — which is confirmed twice before a ballot is ever cast.”

He then slammed U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, the Trump loyalist in Georgia who lost the primary election for Senate and who pushed for a recount. Collins has alleged widespread voter fraud and specifically accused Raffensperger’s policies of fostering it.

“Failed candidate Doug Collins is a liar — but what’s new?” Raffensperger posted.

The state’s Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, along with Raffensperger, has said there is no evidence of the voter fraud Trump and Collins allege.

But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Duncan’s bitter rival, Georgia GOP chair David Shafer, has panned the “Duncan/Raffensperger” narrative and supported the White House occupant’s claims of voter fraud.

And Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have also criticized Raffensperger for allegedly cooperating with Democrats in stealing the election from Trump.

Loeffler and Collins had a notoriously acrimonious relationship leading up to the Nov. 3 special election as the pair battled for Loeffler’s Senate seat.

Both launched campaigns trying to out-conservative the other. But now they are playing the unlikely role of teammates in their attacks on fellow Republican Raffensperger.

Loeffler and Perdue issued a joint statement Nov. 9 demanding that Raffensperger resign, baselessly claiming that “the management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state” and that Raffensperger was responsible for “too many failures” in the election process.

Raffensperger responded with his own statement politely telling the Republican senators to shove off.

“Earlier today Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation,” he noted. “Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.”

Raffensperger added that, as secretary of state, he would “continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.”

Last week, Raffensperger told the New York Times that while he expected attacks from the left for his handling of the election, he never expected criticism from his own side.

“I was fully expecting it to come from the one side,” he said, but not “from your own ranks.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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